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Dan’s Daily: Penguins Heartbreak, TSN Analyst Puts Blame on Hextall



Ron Hextall, Pittsburgh Penguins 2

The sentence I’ve had to type far too many times in the last 12 hours. The Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday when the New York Islanders beat the Montreal Canadiens. Of course, it was the Islanders. No franchise has tortured the Penguins more than the fish sticks. And, of course, Brock Nelson scored a pair of goals in the Islanders’ win.

Also in the Daily, the April 2023 NHL Draft prospectus. TSN analyst Craig Button dished blame for the Penguins’ failures and gave Ron Hextall a lovin’ spoonful. We have a little check-in on the Women’s World Championships, and who should be the starting goalies in Florida and Vegas?

There are two seasons in my world. Hockey season and motorcycle season. But no, I’m not taking days off.

Bluntly? I’m sick over the Penguins missing the playoffs. No, not because I’m a fan and care about them winning or losing (that’s your privilege), but because I’m not ready to hit the off-season. I’m not ready to write the myriad of Hextall stories, the simple changes, the complex changes, the woulda-shoulda-should stories. I’m not ready to stop having pre-game dinner with people I’ve become quite friendly with, not ready to stop getting the tap on my shoulder as the ushers leave the building and quietly drop off a giant bag of cookies for me every night (one found out I have a sweet tooth and they all take care of me).

In the past, I’ve given some of the folks around PPG gift cards at the end of the season. It was so abrupt and surprising this year and last that I failed to do so. So, to all of yinz at the barn who read us daily, thank you for making coming to work something I look forward to.

And to the blogger reporter who keeps reading our stuff and then slightly re-writing it, using nearly identical headlines and links to the same small websites, you’re welcome.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: It’s over. The Penguins’ 16-year playoff run is kaput. I took a little walk down memory and commiserating lane. Consider this closure with some happy memories of the Penguins’ playoff run.

PHN+: Dave Molinari talked to several players Wednesday. They knew. The Penguins’ locker room held out hope.

It’s only getting more relevant — Our PHN video Q&A. Penguins trades, anger, and changes.

OK–here are the bombshells. Too old? After the loss to Chicago, Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin didn’t sugarcoat the problems.

Steelers Now:

Who is the biggest Steelers draft bust ever?

A report says the Steelers are in love with a rising CB. Steelers news.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now:

More bad news on the injury front. J.T. Brubaker is out for the year.

PBN+: It wasn’t pretty Thursday, but that was Rich Hill.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

TSN Video: Craig Button was specific and gave solid analysis on who to blame for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ failure.

Sportsnet: The April NHL Draft prospectus.

Notes about the remaining teams, including Team USA and Canada at the Women’s World Championships.

Florida Hockey Now: I know it stings as I publish other teams’ playoff news. Sam Bennett is out, and we don’t yet know the starting goalie for the Florida Panthers.

After the Panthers’ hard charge down the stretch, how do you not go with Alex Lyon? Ride the hot hand until he remembers he’s Alex Lyon, a third-string goalie.

Boston Hockey Now: Not that it matters to the Penguins, but David Krejci will be ready for Game 1 for the Boston Bruins.

Vegas Hockey Now: Laurent Broissoit? Jonathan Quick? Who starts Game 1 for the Vegas Golden Knights?